Mayor rejects call for state to take over law enforcement
Sunday, July 9, 2006
By Kim Janssen,
Special to The Star
Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg last week dismissed U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s call for Harvey police to be taken over by state and county officers.
Calling Harvey "a dire public safety debacle," Jackson, D-Chicago, Thursday called on Illinois State Police and the Cook County sheriff to seize control of law enforcement in the city.
The congressman's plea came after a series of newspaper reports detailing the declining number of sworn officers on Harvey streets, police union complaints about inadequate patrols and questionable conduct by some police commanders.
In addition to criticizing Jackson during a Friday press conference, Kellogg said any suggestion that he was involved in the disappearance of a gun allegedly used by an accused killer is "a blatant lie."
Kellogg criticized Jackson during a news conference for going public with his call for intervention without first visiting the city or speaking with Kellogg or his police chief.
On Thursday, Jackson went public with a June 18 request for help he sent to Illinois State Police and the Cook County sheriff.
Today some guy hung something on our door. I never got to read it because some other guy came up and took it off and folded it up while walking away. I used to be so quick with the video camera but I have fallen out practice.
Anyway here's what happened when our house was broken into. A report was taken. My stuff was all out around the building next door. When the officer showed up I was picking some of it up. Well all he did was make the report I was out the rest of the night finding things. And in the morning found more. Would complain but some people messed up the insurance money and screwed up the door that was damaged in the breakin and left the window that was knock in ... Anyway things are bad. There have been times I have called the police and they will just drive by the area or take forever to get here.
This city is a dumping ground. If there is something the other cities wont take it comes here. The last mayor dirty as well would just claim it was progress. The joint that they unload and load freight trains that causes increased train traffic for one.
Police, fire pension boards threaten suitShouting don't cover it up, it highlights it.
Sunday, July 9, 2006
By Jonathan Lipman,
Special to The Star
Pension funds for Harvey's police officers and firefighters are running so short of money the pension holders are preparing to sue the city for financial mismanagement.
Mayor Eric Kellogg's administration has given far less money to city pension funds than is required by state law, according to pension board officials.
Such a lawsuit could cost the city millions of dollars it does not have to spare and yield answers to some interesting questions — such as what happened to the $400,000 the city claims it paid into the pension funds in 2004 but the pension fund reports it never received.
A deep hole could get deeper
A lawsuit — which would seek more money out of Harvey's city government — may mean trouble for Harvey taxpayers.
The city has a $5.1 million deficit in its main operating fund, according to a Daily Southtown investigation of financial documents. Kellogg publicly insists the city is financially sound, although he has not commented specifically on the Southtown's findings.
Privately, according to Norm Frese, president of Harvey's police union, the mayor has acknowledged the Southtown's information is accurate.
Frese said Kellogg called him shortly after he complained publicly that Harvey did not have enough police officers on the street. Frese said the city should pay overtime to cover extra shifts.
"(Kellogg) just said, 'We haven't got the money to pay overtime,' " Frese said. "He said, 'As you see in the paper, we're broke.' "
Want to see a real tally of the wrong? Go HERE.
Harvey City Council meeting erupts into pandemonium
Kids drill team there to receive award had to be led out
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
By Kim Janssen
Staff writerA Harvey City Council meeting descended into farce Monday night as a resolution to allow state and Cook County police to investigate the city’s police department was blocked amid angry debate.
As pandemonium quickly enveloped the council chambers at the outset of the meeting, Ald. Ronald Waters (6th) repeatedly tried to put forth a resolution, urging the mayor and his police chief, Andrew Joshua, to comply with U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s demand that Illinois State Police and the Cook County sheriff’s police to audit Harvey’s department "immediately."
Concerns about Harvey police have been increasing since a string of revelations in recent weeks by The Daily Southtown — including a decline in the department’s manpower, the hiring of officers with questionable backgrounds, a large number of unsolved murders and 36 federal lawsuits brought against police.